Attributive and Predicative Adjectives for intermediate learners
An attributive adjective is an adjective that appears before the noun or pronoun it describes. In this lesson, we will learn more about them.
What Are Attributive and Predicative Adjectives?
Adjectives modify nouns in sentences. Based on their positions in statements, we divide them into two groups. Take a look at the list below:
- Attributive Adjectives
- Predicative Adjectives
When an adjective comes before a noun in a sentence, we call it an attributive adjective. Take a look at the following examples:
Samantha is a
As you can see, the adjective has come before the noun it is modifying.
In contrast to attributive adjectives, predicative adjectives come after the noun they are modifying in the sentence. These adjectives come after the linking verb. Study the following examples carefully:
That girl is
His girlfriend was
As you can see, the adjective has come after the noun and especially after the linking verb.
Be careful that in some cases, the adjective comes immediately after the noun it is modifying. We call them 'postpositive adjectives'. They mostly modify pronouns. Pay attention to the examples below:
Can you please suggest something
The only hotel
As you can see, the adjective has come immediately after the noun/pronoun.
It is useful to know that most adjectives can be both attributive and predictive in English. However, there are a few adjectives that can only be attributive such as 'live', 'elder', 'main.' Also, there are some that can only function as predictive adjectives such as 'afraid', 'alone', 'asleep.' Take a look at the following examples:
She is my
(Not she is my sister
That girl is